Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
former General Superintendant, Wesleyan Church
NRPE Board Chair
The Ambassador is a position specifically created by action of the General Board to retain the considerable connections and influence of Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, former General Superintendent. The Wesleyan Church is pleased that she will continue to be available at selected multi-faith venues, international gatherings, and other events to which she may be invited or commissioned, using her voice to extend the ministry and influence of the church. Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors of many organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Christian Community Development Association, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Asbury Theological Seminary Board, Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum, the President of The United States Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Dr. Lyon holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, continued graduate studies in Historical Theology and has been granted five honorary doctorates. As the founder and CEO of World Hope International, Alexandria, VA, she directed the faith-based relief and development organizations into over 30 countries to alleviate suffering and injustice. Dr. Lyon and her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, live in the Indianapolis area. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.
Sisters of Mercy,
Marianne Comfort is justice coordinator for Earth, anti-racism and women for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She serves as a member of the steering committee for both the Global Catholic Climate Movement and the U.S.-based Catholic Climate Covenant. She also participates in the Washington, D.C.-based interfaith coalition on energy and the environment.
Executive Director, NRPE
Prior to joining NRPE in September 2013, Cassandra was the Washington Office and Eco-Justice Program director for the National Council of Churches USA. In her role at the NCC, she oversaw the Council's advocacy and eco-justice work and worked to set and implement strategic priorities in partnership with various stakeholders. Previously, she was director of faith-based outreach at the Center for a New American Dream, where she worked to encourage communities of faith to take action to protect God's Creation. She received her graduate degree in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Ms. Carmichael has delivered numerous regional and national conference plenary presentations and written various articles and essays on faith and environment. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Race, Poverty and the Environment; Holy Ground; and Heartstone. Ms. Carmichael is a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and a previous board member on the Chesapeake Bay Alliance, and she has also served on the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Advisory Council Task Force on Climate and Environment and the Advisory Council of the Green Bible.
Girl Scouts of America
In addition to serving on the board for NRPE, Kara accepted a position with the Girl Scouts of America in early 2019. Previously, she has worked with EcoAmerica as the Faith Sector Director, served as the Director of Strategic Relationships with National Wildlife Federation where she helped build new partnerships and relationships with business, faith leaders, President’s Advisory Council members and supporters to advance climate solutions, environmental education, and habitat conservation priorities. Kara served as Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Virginia. She also served as Director of Sustainable Countrysides with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and worked for seven years with Booz, Allen & Hamilton management consulting firm, directing projects for private and public sector clients including the Environmental Protection Agency. Kara holds a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in environmental policy and an emphasis on sustainable economic development, and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Maryland. When she’s not working, Kara enjoys jogging and birding. She is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, a trained Climate Reality presenter, and joined her husband Rev. Jim Ball for the “What Would Jesus Drive” tour and educational campaign to reduce pollution and fuel consumption from our transportation choices.
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton
Christian Medthodist Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton is a pastor, preacher, teacher, chaplain, author and executive leader in religion and pastoral care.
As an ordained CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) minister, Bishop Snorton has a passion for the local church, but also for interfaith and multifaith initiatives that meet the needs of people and communities. In June 2010, Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton was elected the 59th Bishop of the CME Church, the denomination's first female elected to the episcopal office. For nine months, she served as Presiding Bishop for the Eleventh Episcopal District, which is comprised of ten countries in central and southern Africa. In March 2011, she was appointed to serve as Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District (Alabama and Florida).
President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Prior to his position at JCPA, David served as a consultant dedicated to assisting organizations and communities in strengthening their Israel education, engagement and advocacy work. He is also founder of Culture Solutions LLC, which works with non-profits on strategic planning and culture change efforts. He served as Executive Director of The David Project from August 2010- September 2014. During his time at The David Project, David transformed and re-branded the organization, focusing on the need for expanding relationships with campus opinion leaders, intensifying efforts at particular campuses and utilizing a more nuanced approach for discussions about Israel. David also spent 13 years at the American Jewish Committee, where he began as director of the Washington regional office and served in management roles overseeing regional offices and national and local programming and advocacy. During his time at AJC, David was a leading advocate for Israel on the legislative, diplomatic, media and inter-group relations fronts. He has provided pro-Israel media training in cities across the country and to Israeli diplomats based in the U.S. David is also a passionate advocate for education change, writing a series of opinion pieces for the Washington Post and Education Week.
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
Rabbi, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb is chair of COEJL (the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life), and has served as the rabbi at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD since 1997. He is the immediate past Chairperson of Maryland/Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light and past President of the Washington Board of Rabbis. He has helped Adat Shalom become a widely-acclaimed green spiritual center and has been active within and beyond Adat Shalom on social and economic justice, LGBTQ and gender equality and progressive Israel education and advocacy, as well as eco-Judaism. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Fred received a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2009. His two young children provide both impetus for, and limits upon, his activist rabbinate.
Rev. Carroll Baltimore
former General Secretary, Progressive National Baptist Church
NRPE Vice Chair
Bishop Baltimore is a global Interfaith Leader, Humanitarian, Missions Leader and Educator. He serves faithfully as the Senior Pastor and Leader of the International Community Baptist Churches, USA and the Philippines. Bishop Baltimore served with distinction as the 19th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (PNBC) leading 2.5 million international members from 2010 to 2014. He was the first President of PNBC to serve from the State of Virginia. Bishop Baltimore currently serves as President/CEO of Global Alliance Interfaith Networks, LLC (G.A.I.N.) and CAB Outreach International Ministries, Inc. (CAB). He is the visionary and founder of the Carroll A. Baltimore Christian Academy, Inc. and the CAB Southern Mindanao Theological Seminary. He serves as a leader with a number of diverse organizations including, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, African American Outreach Advisory Council; Columbia University’s Center on African American Religion; Creative Ministries, Inc. on Global Warming; and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment; Shoulder to Shoulder; Sojourners and other religious and secular organizations dealing with global strategies, plans and opportunities. Bishop Baltimore’s leadership has spanned the globe and resonated with world leaders, executives and the grassroots. He is consistently sought to speak, lead and provide advice on issues that affect the lives and cultures of peoples throughout the globe.
Rabbi Steve Gutow
President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Rabbi Steve Gutow served as President and CEO of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs (JCPA) from 2005 until 2015. The JCPA has been for eighty years, the umbrella organization for both 120 local community relations councils throughout the country and 16 national organizations including all the major Jewish religious movements as well as the ADL, the AJC, the NJCW and others. Steve initiated a campaign to address poverty in the U.S. that implemented several efforts that have led to an increased national commitment to reduce poverty, efforts such as the "food stamp challenge” and Fighting Poverty with Faith. Under Steve’s leadership the JCPA undertook in 2013 an "Immigration Nation" campaign to demonstrate Jewish community support for comprehensive immigration reform and a campaign to end gun violence, inspired by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Under Rabbi Gutow’s auspices the JCPA initiated a civility in the public square campaign that serves as a model for faith communities around the world. Also, importantly, as a part of the JCPA, Steve served as a leader of the principal environmental advocacy organization in the Jewish community, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).
Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune,
Chief Operating Officer, National Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. Copeland-Tune has served as the Director of Mobilization for the NCC’s “A.C.T. Now to End Racism” events, the director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, and as Minister of Congregational Live for Clifton Park Baptist Church. In 2018, she was given the President’s Award for Excellence in Faithful Leadership at the NCC’s Christian Unity Gathering. Dr. Copeland-Tune has held numerous positions of importance in the ecumenical movement including that of director for the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, an anti-poverty ministry which adds a prophetic voice and collective action to the fight to end poverty. She has also been a consultant for the Conference of National Black Churches and Faith in Public Life, a DC-based advocacy group.
Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner serves as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Rabbi Pesner also serves as Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism, a position to which he was appointed in 2011. Rabbi Pesner’s work has focused on encouraging Jewish communities to reach across lines of race, class, and faith in campaigns for social justice. In 2006, he founded Just Congregations (now incorporated into the Religious Action Center. Over the course of his career, he has also led and supported campaigns for racial justice, economic opportunity, immigration reform, LGBTQ equality, human rights, and a variety of other causes. He is dedicated to building bridges to collectively confront anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate and bigotry. Rabbi Pesner serves as a board member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, JOIN for Justice, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and the New England Center for Children. Ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Bronx High School of Science, Rabbi Pesner is married to Dana S. Gershon, an attorney. They have four daughters: Juliet, Noa, Bobbie, and Cate.
Rev. Canon C.K. Robertson
Canon to the Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon C. K. Robertson earned a Ph.D. in Theology (through Graduate Society, now Ustinov College) from Durham in 1999. A member of St. John’s College Senior Common Room, his thesis focused on conflict management. During that time, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robertson worked as a consultant in the Church of England. After teaching in university and serving as rector of a parish in Georgia, Robertson has now spent the past decade serving as Canon to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, as well as Distinguished Visiting Professor at General Theological Seminary in New York City. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has worked extensively with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State. Chuck is the author of over a dozen books and many articles and served as executive director of the national award-winning Film Clips for Character Education series. He and his wife Debbie have three children, David, Jonathan, and Abigail.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Richard Coll is director of the office of domestic social development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In that capacity, he works closely with Bread on the Circle of Protection, the alliance of Christian leaders committed to ending poverty. Coll formerly served as foreign policy advisor for the office of international justice and peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as director for the subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. Coll previously worked in banking and international economic policy. He is a parishioner at Holy Trinity Church, Washington, D.C., is fluent in Spanish and French, and holds degrees from Harvard College and Law School. Roman Catholic. Washington, D.C.
Evangelical Environmental Network
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Summers is the Board Chair for the Evangelical Environmental Network and is passionate about advocacy, education, and mobilization. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University and also holds teaching roles at Southern Wesleyan University and Oklahoma University. Jeremy previously has served as the Director of Spiritual Formation and Community Based Ministries for The Wesleyan Denomination and has pastored at four Wesleyan churches. Jeremy is an author of over a half dozen books and has published numerous articles on theology, spiritual formation, the environment, and politics. He is ordained in The Wesleyan Church and holds degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Jeremy Summers is the Board Chair for the Evangelical Environmental Network and is passionate about advocacy, education, and mobilization. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University and also holds teaching roles at Southern Wesleyan University and Oklahoma University.